Apple pulls third-party SDKs from Shazam in latest update


Shazam on iPhone XS
Your Shazam data is safer in the hands of Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple has pulled all but one third-party SDK from Shazam in its latest update.

The move wipes out analytics firms, ad networks, open-source projects, and more — including Google AdMob, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, and DoubleClick. Only HockeyApp, a Microsoft platform for beta testing, is still available.

Media mogul says Apple is foolish to challenge might of Netflix


Barry Diller
Barry Diller doesn't see the competition catching up to Netflix.
Photo: J.D. Lasica/Wikimedia CC

Apple can try to compete with Netflix for video streaming subscribers, but Barry Diller says Apple and others are “fools” to chase Netflix.

Diller, a studio executive turned tech entrepreneur, does not see any company gaining the number of subscribers as Netflix, which began building a base by sending DVDs of choice movies by mail.

Apple’s latest acquisition could give Siri a crucial boost


The company that made Barbie a conversationalist has been bought by Apple.
Photo: ToyTalk

Apple’s latest acquisition could give Siri a better chance at competing against Amazon’s popular voice-power assistant, Alexa.

Pullstring, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in helping developers design, prototype and deploy voice apps has reportedly been purchased by Apple. The company’s platform helps create voice apps for Alexa and Google Assistant, and will likely help Apple make more tools for Siri.

Apple’s TV streaming service may launch in April


Apple TV
Apple's TV service will let you subscribe to other channels.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The long wait for Apple’s TV streaming service might finally be coming to an end.

With a rumored March 25 event on the horizon, Apple is reportedly planning to launch its TV streaming service in April or early May, but some of the biggest names in the streaming won’t be part of the platform.

Apple reclaims crown as most valuable public company


Tim Cook earnings apple
Tim Cook is really good at making money.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is back to being the world’s most valuable publicly traded company once again.

The company’s stock price has been rising steadily since Apple revealed its first earnings of 2019 last month. Worried investors ditched the stock at the beginning of the year due to slumping iPhone sales, but it just passed Amazon and Microsoft today, putting Apple back on top.

Spotify CEO does not fear Apple’s massive cash pile


Spotify is dominating audio streaming.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify is making a push to cement its self as the best audio platform in the world. The company revealed today that it acquired two podcasting companies and that it plans to spend big on original audio content.

Despite growing competition from Apple, Amazon and YouTube, Spotify is inching closer to having 100 million paid subscribers. In an interview on CNBC this morning, Spotify CEO Daniel Elk didn’t sound worried one bit about Apple and Amazon spending tons of cash to beat Spotify.

Apple briefly regains place as most valuable public company


Tim Cook and Ivanka Trump
Apple was back at the top of the mountain yesterday!
Photo: Apple

For a long time, Apple stock was predictable in the way that 1980s Mike Tyson was predictable: steamrolling through challengers as it firmly held onto its status as all-conquering champion.

That changed last year as Apple’s market cap fell behind Amazon, Google, and even old rival Microsoft. But yesterday, for a few moments, it climbed back to the top of the mountain as the world’s most valuable company once again. For a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, that is!

Amazon’s Drop In basically turns Apple FaceTime bug into a feature [Opinion]


facebook eavesdropping microphone
Smart speakers are microphones that other people can listen to.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know the Apple FaceTime bug that everyone’s going crazy about? It’s a huge screwup, for sure, but at least we know it’s just a bug. Being able to call someone and eavesdrop on their conversations without them knowing is clearly a privacy nightmare, which is why Apple disabled Group FaceTime until it can issue a proper fix.

Amazon, on the other hand, offers silent eavesdropping as a feature for its Echo speakers. It’s called Drop In, and if you’ve enabled it, you should probably turn it off.

First HomeKit-enabled video doorbell gets launch date


The industrial finish on the ProLine HomeKit video doorbell looks gorgeous.
The industrial finish on the ProLine video doorbell looks gorgeous.
Photo: Robin Telecom Development

The first HomeKit-compatible video doorbell finally has a launch date in the USA, giving iPhone lovers an alternative to Amazon’s Ring doorbell and Nest Cam from Google.

Robin Telecom Development — a tech hardware company from the Netherlands — revealed today that its ProLine Doorbell will launch in over 50 countries on January 31, but people in the USA and Canada will have to wait until February 28.

FAANG stocks are bouncing back — except Apple


apple earnings
"I think what Tessa’s saying is that you haven’t bounced back."
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

FAANG stocks suffered a massive dip before the holidays, wiping out $1 trillion in combined value. Now they’re bouncing back — with one notable Apple-shaped exception.

While Facebook, Google, Netflix and Amazon have all gained between 10.7 percent and a massive 50 percent since Christmas Eve, Apple is severely lagging. It’s up just 5.5 percent over the same period.